Convection in ice mantles: effects of texture and anisotropy


Tuesday, May 21 2013 - 12:00 pm, PDT
Max Rudolph
University of Colorado, Boulder

icy moonThe icy mantles of satellites in the outer solar system may transport heat by solid-state convection, which is important because it provides a mechanism for cycling material between a ocean and surface, controls the rate of heat transport, and may produce surface geological features. The style of convection and rate of heat transport depend strongly on ice rheology, which is complex. I will discuss the effect of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) on ice rheology and how this phenomenon affects convection. Next, I will present the results from numerical models of ice convection in which we incorporate CPO development and the resulting viscous anisotropy. CPO develops as a result of strain and can potentially be detected using spacecraft radar observations. Hence, if we can detect CPO, we can study not only the present state but also the strain-history of an icy satellite. Our numerical models lead to specific predictions of where CPO is likely to develop and what CPO fabrics are likely to develop in association with specific geologic settings.

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